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On ne peut rien faire d’autre que tenir debout


Élodie Merland

Artist selected as part of the open call

339113 Rue de la Cathédrale

Between 2008 and 2010, Élodie Merland studied at the Higher School of Fine Arts and Design in Toulon. Wanting to reconnect with the red bricks typical of her northern roots, she lived for a while in Roubaix, then returned to Dunkirk, where she currently resides, always closer to the sea.

In 2016, she completed a two-month residence in Folkestone, United Kingdom. Since then, she has maintained a close connection with England, with the geographical position of Dunkirk allowing her to stay close.

Bruits de fond is the name she gave to her overall work. What she hears in it is primarily silence, absence, lack, intimacy. These concepts are found in each of her multidisciplinary, conceptually romantic works, where words play a major role.

She likes to think of the city as a space of possibilities.

Élodie Merland expresses personal emotions that speak to everyone.

The installation created here adopts the codes of window displays announcing the permanent closure of stores. The space of the shop is left as it is, unoccupied, exposing abandonment to view. The colors of the poster evoke those of stores in discontinuation.

The phrase ON NE PEUT RIEN FAIRE D’AUTRE QUE TENIR DEBOUT (We can do nothing else but stand upright), installed in this context, resonates with the shopkeepers who lose their shops but also with current events. Élodie Merland explores how to react to what is happening around her in this world. What else can we do besides stand upright?

The shop, emptied of its activity and supported by this phrase, emphasizes the disaster that surrounds us and the duty to stand tall, the necessity to hold on to life as the world around us collapses.

Lord Madeleine